9 July 2009
UNISON slams Edinburgh Council's attack on low
UNISON, the largest trade union representing Edinburgh
City Council workers, has slammed the council for
grossly underfunding its 'Modernising Pay' proposals,
resulting in 'an attack on low paid workers'.
"A scheme which is meant to meet equal pay legislation
that is intended to benefit low paid women workers,
has resulted in thousands of them being even worse
off", said UNISON Edinburgh Branch President John
"As groups like social care workers, home carers
and low paid clerical staff received letters from
the council this week, they found their pay would
be getting worse, not better.
"Alongside them, gardeners, road workers and cleansing
staff are also finding their wages slashed. People
have bills to pay. They have long term commitments
and many are wondering how they are going to manage".
"The main problem is that the council is putting
less than half the money into the scheme than most
other councils in Scotland", said UNISON lead negotiator
"On top of that, the council is trying to push
through unrelated changes to conditions that mean
even staff whose grade goes up, find that their
actual earnings go down", he added.
Among the groups affected are night shift workers
who deliver essential services in residential units
and in emergency social work and other services.
"The council has had ten years to sort this out
and at the end of the day they are trying to do
it on the cheap. The most miserly council in Scotland
looks like it is trying to deliver equal pay for
low paid women by cutting their wages. That is a
disgrace", said Mr Stevenson.
UNISON is taking legal advice on the next steps
that could include a ballot or a series of ballots
on industrial action.
"We know times are tough for everyone but we cannot
stand by and watch the lowest paid losing out to
pay for the council's mistakes", he said.
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